Coliseum Video Rant 2018 – Most Unusual Matches!
(Someone in the comments keeps asking for this one, so here’s the rant I did in 2018 for the WWE Network version. I’ll probably do a new version of Even More Unusual Matches tomorrow night to satisfy my OCD.)
So yeah, sadly the classic Coliseum Video intro music has been purged and replaced with generic fanfare music instead. So disappointing.
Hosted by Jesse Ventura. Frankly I’m shocked they didn’t have him digitally blurred out, too.
Lumberjack match, Intercontinental title: Greg Valentine v. Tito Santana
Jesse gives us the kayfabe reason behind the “lumberjack match” stips, which I always found funny because you’d think actual lumberjacks would be too busy working to engage in organized fighting. But hey, at least they could make a pretty good ring out of wood, I’d imagine. Valentine attacks and immediately lays out Tito with elbows, but Tito slugs away in the corner and Greg flops out to the floor. The heels try to shield him, but Steamboat is having none of that and throws Greg back in personally. Tito with an atomic drop and kneelift and Valentine bails again and gets thrown back in. We’re clipped to Tito making a comeback as Greg runs away and gets caught, but Tito charges and runs right into Greg’s knee in a nasty bump, which gives Valentine two. Clipped again to Tito taking a beating, and this time it’s the babyfaces who shield him while the heels try to throw him back in. That’s hardly fair! Also, Gorilla keeps referring to Rocky Johnson as “The Rock”, which is weirding me out. Back in, Valentine drops an elbow for two and as usual Gorilla is like “There was no way he was getting the pin off that!” Way to kill the drama, Gorilla. Greg tries the figure-four, but Tito cradles for two and makes another comeback. They slug it out and Tito is FIRED UP, like some kind of spicy piquante sauce, or other non-ethnic food reference. Fired up like a spicy curry? Regardless, a suplex gets two. Tito tries his own figure-four, but Valentine fights him off and runs away, resulting in the babyfaces blocking the aisle and throwing him back in. Tito with another figure-four, but now the heels literally pull Valentine to the ropes behind the ref’s back. Sadly, Tito goes after them like a moron due to his fiery Latin temper, hot like sriracha, but he collides with Valentine, resulting in Greg falling on top for the pin to retain at 10:30. That’s a great fluke finish you don’t see anymore. Hell of a match. 1 for 1.
Indian Strap Match: Greg Valentine v. Chief Jay Strongbow
From July 1979 at MSG. Shouldn’t this be an Italian strap match? Valentine attacks and chokes him out with the strap in the corner and the Chief is already busted open. Jesse is doing overdubbed commentary here, and doing it totally straight, which is weird. Strongbow makes a comeback and we’re clipped to Strongbow trying to walk down the aisle while Valentine yanks him back in. Finally Jay pulls him out and they brawl on the floor, with Valentine going into the post and also getting busted open. They slug it out in the ring and the poor ref gets beat up, so some babyfaces run into the ring to break them up and it’s a no-contest at 5:00 shown. And then some big fat dude at ringside takes a shot at Valentine and the Hammer gives him a whack while the cops swarm the guy. That was almost worth a point, but Strongbow is so shitty that I just can’t. 1 for 2.
Texas Tornado Match: Roddy Piper & Cowboy Bob Orton v. Junkyard Dog & Jimmy Snuka
The babyfaces send Orton flying and Snuka goes after Piper outside, but he gets sent into the post instead. Back in, the heels double-team JYD and throw him out, but Snuka fights back on both of them and pounds on Piper. Piper decides to retreat, so all four brawl in the aisle and fight back into the ring. The heels go to DOUBLE CHINLOCKS as RAW rolls on. The babyfaces fight out, so the heels respond with DOUBLE SLEEPERS and then Piper manages to put the boots to Snuka while holding a sleeper on Dog. However, Dog and Snuka manage to lock hands, and yank the heels into each other to break the holds. They make the comeback, but Piper cuts Dog off and they double-slam Snuka (the clip that’s a part of the famous Coliseum intro). Orton goes up and hits knee, however, and Dog makes another comeback, but Piper trips him up from the outside and Orton gets the cheap pin at 6:45. 2 for 3.
Women’s Battle Royal
This is from “the late 60s” according to Jesse, with the winner getting a title shot at Fabulous Moolah, and only pins counting. Basically just a series of clips with no one of note in the match and various people getting pinned after simple moves and the finish is all kinds of messed up. Sue Green wins at 4:35 shown after they try a complex slingshot into sunset flip finish and screw it up twice. 2 for 4.
Men’s Battle Royal
From July 84. We’ve got Sika, Jose Luis Rivera, Butcher Vachon, Antonio Inoki, Tony Garea, Jay Strongbow, Afa, Steve Lombardi, Dick Murdoch, Bob Orton, Adrian Adonis, Rene Goulet, Ron Shaw, Charlie Fulton, Terry Daniels, the Iron Sheik, Tito Santana, Paul Orndorff, Sgt. Slaughter and Samu the Samoan. Clipped immediately to a few minutes in, according to Gorilla, with Inoki hitting Adonis with an enzuigiri to the floor, but not over the top. Just a bunch of stuff with all the geeks getting thrown out and various guys disappearing off-screen until we’re down to Inoki, Tony Garea, Goulet and Ron Shaw. Well this isn’t obvious at all. So Garea gets thrown out by the jobber geeks and then they go after Inoki, but bumble into each other and Inoki tosses them to win at 6:16. Nothing to this one. 2 for 5.
Intercontinental title, Cage match: Magnificent Muraco v. Jimmy Snuka
So this is of course incredibly famous, both for the finish and because a young Mick Foley is sitting at ringside. Snuka immediately puts the beats to him and Muraco tries to run out the door, but gets nowhere. Snuka throws chops on the ropes, but Muraco runs him into the cage and Snuka is busted open. They fight to the top and Snuka chops him down, but Muraco slams him off the top and goes for the door. Snuka sends him into the turnbuckle as Muraco takes a dramatic clown bump, and Snuka busts him open as well and follows with a fist off the middle rope. Snuka gives him a pair of flying headbutts, but Muraco tumbles into the door and out of the cage to retain at 6:55. Snuka’s got no one to blame, but he blames Muraco anyway, hauling him back in and delivering the famous splash off the top of the cage before dropping the belt on him in disgust and leaving. A classic, of course, although much shorter of a match than I remember. 3 for 6.
Jimmy Snuka & Arnold Skaaland v. Magnificent Muraco & Captain Lou Albano
And from that, we go to the rematch of sorts in December, with managers now involved. Muraco beats on Skaaland to start, but Arnold comes back with a headlock and a small package on Muraco for two. Snuka comes in and puts Muraco down with chops, and a headbutt gets two. So now Albano comes in and distracts the ref while Muraco comes off the top with a knee to Snuka’s throat, and the heels get the heat on Snuka. That goes on for a while, until Skaaland can take no more and comes in to go after Albano, which allows Snuka to splash and pin Muraco at 8:00. Everyone was just sleepwalking through this. 3 for 7.
Haystacks Calhoun, Larry Zbyszko & Peter Maivia v. Butcher Vachon, Strong Kobayashi & Moose Munroe
Just a clip to showcase Haystacks, as he splashes and pins Moose in about a minute to win it. 3 for 8.
Mr. Fuji, Ray Stevens, Magnificent Muraco, Buddy Rose & Superstar Graham v. Rocky Johnson, Sal Bellomo, Pedro Morales, Jimmy Snuka & Andre the Giant
And this is the main event of our tape, best 3 out of 5 falls with a 2 hour time limit. Rocky fights off the heels and Muraco gets quintuple-teamed by the babyfaces, with Andre hitting a big boot that puts him on the floor. Back in, Muraco runs into Andre’s ass and goes flying off that as well. Clipped to Bellomo taking an airplane spin from Muraco, but Don gets dizzy and Sal falls on top for two. So Rose comes in and he also does an airplane spin on him and the heels go to work. But then Muraco comes in again and goes flying to the apron via Andre headbutt, doing the spot where he gets hung in the ropes. But then Fuji pins Bellomo with a suplex at 5:21 to win the first fall. Next fall sees Fuji trying a slam, but Snuka dropkicks them over and Sal gets his revenge at 6:00. Next fall and Snuka comes in against Rose and pins him with a sunset flip at 7:05 to put the faces up 2-1. Fourth fall sees the faces beating on Rose, so he tags out to Fuji, who is terrified of Andre and rightly so. Fuji goes with the karate blow to the jaw and manages to get Andre into the heel corner, but he slams Muraco off the top as the Network repeatedly crashes on me. Funny spot as Andre grabs Rose and rams him into Snuka’s head, then sits on him to win 3-1 at 10:00. Although they say “such and such is fun to watch!” today as a buzzword, Andre was legitimately fun to watch. 4 for 9.
An OK tape, although a nicely interesting mix of stuff for people who wouldn’t have exposure to it in 1985. I’d call it good enough for a recommendation.